There's a whole new dimension appearing on my website with this page.

As part of my studies with the Open University for course AA300 - Culture and Indentity in a Contested Continent, I was given an assignment that required me to take two cultural artefacts from different cities in different countries, and then compare and contrast them. In addition, I had to explain how this reflected the identity of the cities concerned.

Of course, this led to me living in very interesting times because, as you well know, I can talk all night to anyone about history, warfare, bombing and such subjects. What better opportunity than this to bang away here on my pet subjects? Particularly when I can work in another of my two most favourite places.

Ieper (Ypres) and Coventry both have two things in common. Firstly they were devastated by German armed forces, and secondly that they were rebuilt with a specific purpose in mind. And despite what Anthony Cave Brown might have to say on the subject, they don't have a third thing in common. Ieper may well have been sacrificed in 1915 as a political expediency, but all the evidence that has been properly gathered suggests that the British had no advance warning that the Luftwaffe had singled out Coventry for destruction on 14 November 1940.

But I digress.

I consequently wrote my assignment and submitted it, complete with its two most unlikely and unexpected conclusions. It strays from the point by several miles, but that is because I was so carried away in my research that I lost my thread completely on several occasions. Now that it's been marked and returned, I can post it to the public domain.

It fits in quite nicely here because it ended up as a sort-of travelogue of Coventry complete with photographs. At the moment, I only have the project in *.pdf format, but eventually I'll put it up properly for you read on-line. There are about 100 photos of Coventry too, and I'll put those up in due course.

So with grateful thanks to Rob Orland, of the Historic Coventry website, and his family who took me on a guided walk around the city one July evening, and to Liz Ayers who, on a couple of occasions passing from one Open University Students Association meeting to another, came with me on a quick whizz around the city, and also to the City of Coventry library who let me loose amongst their press cuttings, it's all yours.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed researching and writing it.

  1. The main project
  2. Appendix A - press cutting
  3. Appendix B - maps 1937 and 1968, and plan 1939
  4. Appendix C - Gibson's plan of 1941
  5. Appendix D - bibliography
  6. Appendix E - photographs used in the text
  7. Appendix F - further thoughts

  8. back to top



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